Preaching from below: A critical analysis of Jon Sobrino's liberation Christology and its implications for a theology of preaching

Robert Anthony Busch, Fordham University


This dissertation argues that the liberation Christology of Jon Sobrino, S.J., provides a fruitful resource for the development of a contemporary theology of preaching that is informed by the historical praxis of Jesus of Nazareth, attentive to the cries of “the crucified peoples” of the world, and directed towards committed action on behalf of the Church's mission to be both a sign and an instrument of the reign of God. This study consists of five chapters. The first chapter provides an historical overview of the most significant theologies of preaching that have been either explicitly articulated or implicitly prevalent within the Christian tradition. Particular emphasis is given to patristic and medieval notions of the preaching event, followed by an exploration of Lutheran, Reformed, American revivalist, and twentieth-century Protestant and Roman Catholic reflections on the nature of preaching. The chapter concludes with a summary of issues that must be addressed in any contemporary theology of preaching. The next three chapters provide a detailed exposition and analysis of Sobrino's Christological perspective. The second chapter explores the theological method employed by Sobrino. The third chapter concentrates on Sobrino's treatment of the life, ministry, and death of Jesus of Nazareth, focusing especially on Sobrino's assessment of the reign of God as the central theme of Jesus' ministry. The fourth chapter investigates Sobrino's soteriological proposals, examining both his approach to salvation and his understanding of how this salvation is realized both in and through the past event of the death and resurrection of Christ and the present discipleship of those who seek to follow in his steps. The fifth chapter develops constructively a First World theology of preaching informed by Sobrino's Third World liberation Christology. An attempt is made to extrapolate and extend from his thought some theological reflections on the nature, purpose, and essential character of preaching in the Christian tradition, the social location and salvific efficacy of this ministry, and the integral relationship that exists between preaching and liturgy.

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Recommended Citation

Busch, Robert Anthony, "Preaching from below: A critical analysis of Jon Sobrino's liberation Christology and its implications for a theology of preaching" (1999). ETD Collection for Fordham University. AAI9917501.